Blueberry and lemon scones

Blueberry and lemon scones

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Summer is the perfect time for picnics and tea parties, and no tea party is complete without scones! These are perfect – light and fluffy, with blueberries dotted through them, and served while still warm with some lemon curd and blueberry compote. You could also serve them with blueberry jam and clotted cream, if you didn’t want to make the lemon curd.

These lemon scones can be whipped up in half an hour, just remember to heat up your oven completely before cooking them on a pre-heated baking tray. Another excellent tip for the perfect scones is to warm the milk up slightly,, and then to add a squeeze of lemon – this gives them a head start on their rise in the oven.

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Rhubarb and almond cake

Rhubarb and almond cake

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Summer is here! I don’t know how that happened, this year is going scarily quickly, but I am now home from uni for the summer and ready to do some serious baking! One thing I really miss when I’m away is having a garden, not just because I love sitting outside, but also because it’s so lovely to be able to go into the garden and pick produce to use in my baking.

This cake is made with rhubarb from the garden, which makes it perfect for summer – not too heavy, with a lovely fruity filling. You don’t want to put too much of the rhubarb in the cake, otherwise it will spill over the sides, and not look so pretty (although it will still taste just as good!)

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Rhubarb and almond cake with orange marscapone filling

For the cake:

  • 250g softened butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond essence
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 40g ground almonds

For the rhubarb filling:

  • 8 sticks of rhubarb, half roughly chopped and half cut into short lengths, then cut in half again lengthways
  • 50g brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with enough water to make a thick paste
  • red food colouring

For the orange marscapone filling:

  • 150g light marscapone
  • 150ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange

2 x 20cm circle cake tins, greased well and dusted completely with flour
Pre-heat your oven to 180°C

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and creamy, then stir in the vanilla and almonds extracts.
  2. Add the eggs and beat well again.
  3. Sift the flour and ground almonds into the bowl, and fold in.
  4. Spoon the mixture into your cake tins and level the tops, then bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the rhubarb filling by putting the roughly chopped rhubarb in a saucepan with the sugar and orange juice. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the rhubarb is soft, but not mushy.
  6. Add the sliced rhubarb and simmer again until soft. Add the cornflour mixture and stir until the rhubarb is slightly thickened, then add enough food colouring until the rhubarb is a nice pink colour.
  7. When the cakes are cooked, take them out of the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  8. While they’re cooling make the filling by beating the cream with a whisk until thick, then beating in the marscapone, icing sugar and orange zest until smooth and thick.
  9. When the cakes are cool, arrange on a plate, then top with the orange filling. Spoon over some of the rhubarb – you may not need it all, and you don’t want it to spill over the sides – and top with the other cake.
  10. Serve with some of the extra rhubarb and enjoy!

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